Posted on: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Over 20 years ago, Ann Sluder ('81) and Lisa Lamb Nichols ('80) were hiking the end of the Appalachian Trail at Baxter State Park in Maine. Lisa, who hates backpacking, said, "I'm not backpacking again until we do the Grand Canyon." Thus began the dream of hiking rim to rim at the Grand Canyon.
Recently (2014) that dream became a reality as Ann and Lisa and Karen Sluder Cantor ('83) did, indeed, tackle a Grand Canyon hike.
Lisa says the trip took a lot of planning, and they had to allow for some changes in those old plans. "During the planning and permit-gathering phase of this trip, we learned that we would not be able to hike rim-to-rim, but could do a 'challenging' hike that included the Hermit Loop. We agreed and hiked 30 miles in four days, including a trip to put our feet in the Colorado River at the bottom. We were accompanied by a guide who provided leadership and cooking skills, but we carried tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and the variety of clothes and shoes needed for 50 degree mornings and 100 degree afternoons."
One of the highlights of their trip was wading in the Colorado River..."but carefully!" says Ann. "We went one at a time with a buddy nearby on shore ready to extend a stabilizing hand if needed, due to a muddy slick river bottom on which we did not want to slip and have the current take us into the large rapids just downstream."
Lisa says she has "put up her backpack for good..." But Ann isn't as ready to hang up her hiking boots saying, "There remain some 'bucket list' destinations that can be reached only by backpacking, so, yes, some of us may well venture out again someday."
Top: From back to front that's Lisa Lamb Nichols, Karen Sluder Cantor and Ann Sluder.
Below: The hikers had to work a little harder to cross a rock slide. And Lisa offers photographic proof of being in the Colorado River.